The Qurra Papyrus - Oriental Institute No. 13755, 91 AH / 709 CE

Islamic Awareness

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First Composed: 3rd December 2005

Last Modified: 5th December 2005


Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

[] encloses letters supplied to fill a lacuna

Date

Muharram, 91 AH / November 9 - December 8, 709 CE.

Size

46 cm x 21.6 cm. Medium brown, very fine papyrus. The beginning is broken off and missing; part of the upper left section is also lost; the right margin is clipped at the "fold" but the writing is not much affected.

The seal at the end is of dark clay, partly broken off, with no writing, but with an evidence of a small animal figure.

Accession No.

Oriental Institute No. 13755.

Contents

The translation of the text is:

  1. Praise (be)! The irrigation by the

  2. Nile this year has been even with the best

  3. irrigation ever. Therefore, I hope that

  4. this year will be, God

  5. willing, a blessed year. Hence order the people of

  6. your land to undertake cultivation and urge them zealously

  7. and secure a contract from them to that effect. Then send out

  8. for this purpose one who will carry out your order concerning it, and do not entrust

  9. this to such as will hinder you from (carrying) it (out). For

  10. when the land is cultivated, it prospers,

  11. God causing it to bring forth its due

  12. yield. Satisfy me in this, and I will not

  13. blame you in the matter. For cultivation

  14. by the people of the land is their chief duty,

  15. after their duty to God, and (constitutes) their prosperity and

  16. their welfare.

  17. Peace be with those who follow the guidance.

  18. Written by Basil in Muharram

  19. of the year one and ninety.

(Seal)

Location

Oriental Institute, Chicago.


References

[1] N. Abbott, The Kurrah Papyri From Aphrodito In The Oriental Institute, 1938, Studies In Ancient Oriental Civilization: No. 15, The University of Chicago Press: Chicago (IL), pp. 45-47, Plate II.

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